Cast Iron Thanksgiving Dinner

If you want the flavours of Thanksgiving but don’t want to cook a whole turkey, this one-pan Thanksgiving strata is ideal. It has all of the flavours, texture and ‘wow factor’ of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but will leave you with time to enjoy the holiday. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce!

Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

1 hr 20 min

Total Time

1 hr 50 min


  • large cast iron skillet
  • stovetop
  • Optional (if baking): 13 x 9 inch (3 L) baking dish or individual 1 cup (250 mL) ramekins


  • 2 mild Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) local butter, divided
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 lb/454 g), peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups (1 L) cubed crusty bread (about 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped or pulled cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 cup (250 mL) baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) each, chopped fresh thyme and sage
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) brandy (optional)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) local milk
  • Pinch each, salt and pepper


  1. In a large, cast iron skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until browned and no longer pink inside. Scrape into a large bowl and discard excess fat. Return skillet to medium heat and add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the butter. Add onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until caramelized and very soft. Add to sausage.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat and add sweet potato; cook, stirring for about 15 minutes or until tender and golden. Add to the bowl. Stir in bread, turkey, spinach, thyme and sage. Spread mixture into the same cast iron skillet.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a small, microwaveable bowl, melt remaining butter and stir in brandy, if using. Drizzle over bread mixture.
  4. In another bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in milk, salt and pepper until combined. Drizzle over bread mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and knife inserted into centre comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.


  • No turkey? No problem—substitute turkey with a rotisserie chicken!
  • This recipe can also be baked in a 13 x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish or baked and served beautifully in individual 1 cup (250 mL) ramekins.